To celebrate and support the introduction of a new ground-breaking MA course in Games Design and Development this year at the NFTS, BBC Worldwide has confirmed its support of a scholarship programme for the course that includes both financial assistance and placement opportunities within the BBC’s commercial arm for the successful students.

Launched in January 2012, the two-year MA programme in Games Design and Development combines the existing NFTS expertise in character creation, storytelling, design, animation, sound, visual effects, and more, with the input of established and emerging games industry experts.

It integrates three crucial game development disciplines: Game Design, Game Production and Game Art/Animation, allowing students to specialise where appropriate. Programming and scripting skills are also developed, so that students are equipped with a deep understanding of the entirety of the game development process.

‘I’m truly excited and honoured that we have been given the opportunity to support and work with the games development and design stars of tomorrow,’ said Robert Nashak, BBC Worldwide’s EVP of Digital Entertainment and Games . ‘This is the first time BBC Worldwide has supported such an initiative but given the NFTS alumni reads like a who’s-who of all that’s good and great about the British and global entertainment business, we feel very confident we’ll uncover some hidden treasure.’

Jon Weinbren, the NFTS’ Head of Games added: ‘We are very excited that BBC Worldwide has chosen to back the new Games Design and Development course at the NFTS with these scholarships and placement opportunities. We have every intention of adding to the NFTS tradition of creating world beating talent across all areas of the moving image media. Our games students already work extensively with the other specialist practitioners here at the NFTS and beyond. Engagement with an organisation as content-rich and innovation-friendly as BBC Worldwide offers a unique set of opportunities and will undoubtedly give rise to some extraordinary outputs.’

BBC Worldwide has initially agreed to contribute funding towards four scholarships – two in the course’s introductory year and two next year. In addition two students each year will be given the opportunity to work on a placement at BBC Worldwide where they will not only work alongside BBC Worldwide’s Digital and Entertainment business, but also learn from experts in sales, rights and marketing so that they get a thorough understanding of the business.

Digital Entertainment and Games is currently one of BBC Worldwide’s fastest growing business areas. Through game app launches such as Doctor Who: The Mazes of Time or Top Gear: Stunt School – to more online and social MMO-orientated offerings like Strictly Keep Dancing and Doctor Who Worlds In Time.